Online war memorial creates fitting remembrance to Lincolnshire’s fallen

The names of over 23,000 Lincolnshire men and women who sacrificed their lives in conflict are now online and accessible as a lasting legacy, thanks to a two-year remembrance project.

Lincolnshire County Council was awarded grants totalling £114,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Armed Forces Community Covenant for a project called Lincolnshire Remembrance: Memories and Memorials in August 2013.

The project aimed to develop an understanding of how conflict has affected individuals, families and wider communities in Lincolnshire, through a focus on war memorials.

It was designed to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and was a chance for volunteers to learn about their local war memorials, telling the stories behind the names recorded on them.

Information that volunteers gathered has been shared with the wider public through a specially-designed database on the Lincs to the Past website.

The online project will also serve as an invaluable educational resource for schools in Lincolnshire.

After two years of the project, there are now just over 2,800 war memorials and 23,000 casualties recorded on the site.

Sarah Grundy, from the project, said: “Almost every community in Lincolnshire has a war memorial of some kind, for conflicts ranging from the 19th century to the modern day.

“But until now, there hasn’t been an easy way of discovering what’s out there.

“This new database brings together Lincolnshire’s complete story of sacrifice.

“The response from the volunteers has been overwhelming. We’d hoped to have around 100 come forward, but ended up working with 300.

“Our volunteers have included young people at school who added details to the database of the Old Boys from their school who died in the First World War during their lunch hour.

“We have also had a tremendous response from retired people, some of whom have spent thousands of hours extricating details from websites and old newspapers as well as visiting and photographing memorials across the county.

“All the contributions from volunteers have made this a comprehensive and useful resource which is freely available to all.”

In addition to creating the database, the team has worked with schools and youth groups, and produced learning resources for Key Stages 1 to 3.

It also held a competition to design a war memorial, with RAF Coningsby youth group and William Lovell School both winning trips to the National Memorial Arboretum.

There have been exhibitions and events across the county and many other activities to get people involved.